North Shore tracksters enjoy success at National Junior Olympics | TahoeDailyTribune.com

North Shore tracksters enjoy success at National Junior Olympics

The Lake Tahoe Bobcats team at the National Junior Olympics in Greensboro, N.C., included (from left to right) Coach Brad Bergstrom, Orion Barger, Jada Moore, Brayden Snearly, Brenda Martinez-Ruiz, Millie Jenkins, Madeleine Patrick, Coach Aaron Moore, and Coach Dave Snearly.

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Eight athletes from the Lake Tahoe Bobcats track and field club qualified for the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina and six were able to make the trip east.

Incoming Incline High School sophomore Millie Jenkins led the Bobcats in the week-long event, July 23-29, by qualifying in three events. Brayden Snearly and Harrison Fung each qualified in two.

Athletes qualify for the USATF Jr. National Olympics by competing at association and regional qualifiers. For the Lake Tahoe Bobcats, this meant they needed to finish top five in their selected events earlier this summer at the region 14 qualifier in Fresno.

Head coach Kris Nugent was thrilled to have eight athletes make it through the region qualifier.

"To see our local kids travel all over Northern California and Nevada this summer to achieve their goal of qualifying for Jr. Olympics is impressive," Nugent said. "Our small mountain town was represented by truly amazing kids on the regional and national stage."

Jenkins competed the 100-meter hurdles, long jump and high jump and set personal bests in two.

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Jenkins set a personal record in the 15-16 girls' high jump division with a height of 5 feet, 3 inches. The jump would have set the Incline High School record, which she already owns (5-02). She placed 11th out of 40 competitors.

Jenkins also ran a personal best in the 100 hurdles of 16.05 seconds to finish 44th. In her final event, Jenkins placed 43rd in the long jump out of 62 girls with a distance of 15 feet 7 inches, a couple of inches short of her best set at the region 14 qualifier.

Snearly, also an Incline incoming sophomore, qualified for high jump and long jump in the 15-16 boys' division. He finished 35th out of 59 boys in the long jump with a personal best distance of 19-5.25.

Snearly also did well in high jump, finishing 26th out of 43 boys with a jump of 5-8.75.

Fung was new to the team this year but had an impressive summer and qualified for the 100m hurdles and the 200m hurdles in the 13-14 boys' division.

Fung ran a personal best in the 200 hurdles finishing in 29.82 to finish 47th overall. Fung also finished 47th in the 100 hurdles in a time of 16.87.

Madeleine Patrick was the youngest member of the Bobcats to qualify for the National JO's. Patrick represented the team in the 11-12 girls' division in the 3,000-meter run. She did well against tough competition and finished 27th with a time of 11:54.

Brenda Martinez-Ruiz competed in arguably the hardest event of the meet, the 400 hurdles, in the 15-16 girls' division. The Incline sophomore usually races in the 300 hurdles at the high school level, but she made the jump to the national level and finished 52nd with a time of 1:17.

Orion Barger traveled east for the 15-16 boys' 400m. Barger finished just outside of his personal best time for the summer with a 50th-place finish and a time of 53.93. Barger also was a member of the 15-16 boys 4×400 team that qualified for Nationals, however, the team was unable to compete.

Two additional athletes also qualified for Nationals: Jimena Elizarraraz and Dylan Cleary. Elizarraraz qualified for the 13-14 girls' 1500 and Cleary qualified for the 15-16 boys' 400m and 4×400.

Both athletes were unable to make it to North Carolina due to injury and travel plans.

The Lake Tahoe Bobcat team had a phenomenal summer season in large part due to the time and dedication of the coaching staff, Nugent said.

"Coaches Brad Bergstrom, Aaron Moore and Dave Snearly worked tirelessly this summer to help our local athletes achieve their very best," Nugent said. "It's been an honor to coach such a fine team of kids with these amazing coaches. It's been a special summer for everyone involved, and I'm already looking forward to next summer."

For information on the Lake Tahoe Bobcats, contact Nugent at knugent@laketahoeschool.org.